Welcome To The Volunteer State: After a two-week break, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) returns to action this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway as part of a double-header on Saturday, Apr. 16 with the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS.) Rookie sensation Dominique Van Wieringen will look for her second top-10 finish of the season.
Aboard For World’s Fastest Half-Mile Debut: For her “Thunder Valley” debut, Rette Jones Racing and Van Wieringen welcome Joes Racing Products as the new title sponsor forSaturday afternoon’s PittLite 125. Based in Washington, Joes Racing Products will feature its Precision Air gauge at BMS.Precision-Air Tire Gauge and has spared no expense to make sure that it has the highest quality components available. Every gauge comes certified to guarantee its accuracy and it can always be re-calibrated if something should happen to it in the future.
Proud Partnership: For the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, Rette Jones Racing is proud to welcome a partnership with NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) and Universal Technical Institute (UTI). Through a campus-based school system, UTI offers specialized technical education programs under the banner of several brands, including NASCAR.
Students will learn everything you need to know to work on a wide variety of vehicles as part of their core training on top of 15 weeks of NASCAR specific courses to learn racing fundamentals.
Rette Jones Racing would like to congratulate Matteus Sampaio on his graduation from the NTI program last week. Once a volunteer at RJR, Sampaio is now a full-time employee and will be on-site at Bristol this weekend as a mechanic.
Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway Rewind: In the second K&N Pro Series East race of the season, Van Wieringen struggled throughout the day in preparation for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. Despite doing her best to combat handling woes, but finished 16th after starting 12th.
New Qualifying Procedure: This weekend’s PittLite 125 will feature a new qualifying procedure. Instead of the traditional two-lap time trials, group qualifying similar to road course procedures, will be utilized. Each group will participate in a five-minute session and the fastest single lap speed of each car will determine the first 32 starting positions secured into the field by their qualifying lap / speed.
She’s Fast: In the first three races of the season, Van Wieringen has mastered an average starting position of 5.7, qualifying third, second and 12th in the first three races respectively. The Rette Jones Racing development driver holds an average finishing position of 15th with 11 races remaining this season.
Hot Debut: In the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) International Speedway, DominiqueVan Wieringen wowed the competition with an impressive weekend for her series debut. In addition to qualifying third, she was a serious contender throughout the JET Tools 150, but ultimately finished 10th after being shuffled out of line on a late race restart.
Points Report: With 11 races remaining on the schedule, Dominique Van Wieringen sits 11th in the championship standings, while car owner Mark Rette occupies the same position in the car owner standings. Van Wieringen trails Spencer Davis by 38 points for the championship lead. Just one point separates her from 10th, while 29 markers separate her from fifth place in the standings currently held by Ronnie Bassett Jr.
Up To Speed With Dominique: Van Wieringen has set many accolades, despite her youth. She was the first female to lead a lap in the CRA / JEGS All-Star Series and the first rookie to win a JEGS / CRA All-Star Series point’s race. In addition, Van Wieringen was the first female to win an Outlaw Super Late Model championship in the United States, while holding the current record at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway for the most laps led (74) by a female competitor.
Female Flavor: The PittLite 125 won’t be lacking a female presence on Saturday. Van Wieringen is one of three females set to compete in the third race of the season. Joining Van Wieringen is fellow Canadian racer Sarah Cornett-Ching and Ali Kern. All three females are running for the championship title with Van Wieringen leading the trio in the championship standings by one position.
Meet Dominique: Van Wieringen will meet and greet race fans during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East autograph session onSaturday, April 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in “Lot C” at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Sponsorship Lineup: In addition to Durobyte and NASCAR Technical Institute, Rette Jones Racing also welcomes Jones Group International, J-AAR Excavating, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems and Russo’s Tinting as associate partners this season. RJR is co-owned by successful entrepreneur and race car driver Terry Jones.
Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Fast Fact: Opened in 1961 and hosted its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 30, 1961 won by Jack Smith. It was originally named Bristol International Speedway until 1978 and was then renamed Bristol International Raceway until 1996 when it became Bristol Motor Speedway. The Thunder Valley, was .5-miles from 1961-69 before becoming .527-miles for one year in 1969. In 1970, it became the familiar .533-mile track seen today. The concrete oval has 600-foot straightaways with five to nine degrees of banking on the front stretch and four to eight degrees on the backstretch. The turns are progressively banked from 24 to 28 degrees and the racing surface 40 feet wide.
Stay Social With Dominique: Van Wieringen is active on Twitter. You can follow and tweet with her @DominiqueRacing. Her team, Rette Jones Racing is also active on Twitter. Follow them @RetteJones30.
Chassis Intel: Mark Rette, crew chief and co-owner of Rette Jones Racing has elected again to bring chassis number 001 to the 0.5-mile paved oval this weekend. This Ford Fusion is appearing in its seventh race with RJR. This race chassis was last utilized at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and holds a career-best second place finish last July at Columbus Motor Speedway.
Rette Jones Racing, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Pre-Race Quotes:
Dominique Van Wieringen, driver of the No. 30 Joes Racing Products Ford Fusion:
On Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway: “Greenville wasn’t what we had hoped for. I had never been to Greenville before and we did our best to make solid gains, but we struggled with the handling of our No. 30 NASCAR Technical Institute / Durobyte Ford Fusion. I’m proud of the Rette Jones Racing guys for never giving up, but what happened at Greenville will make us stronger this season.”
On Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway: “I’m anxious to get to Bristol this weekend. It’s been a track I’ve been looking forward to since the end of last season. Practice and qualifying will go by in a hurry on Friday, so it’s important for us to make sure we’ve got our car dialed in and we’re ready for the race. I’m also thankful to have Jesse (Little) as my teammate this weekend. With his success there, it’s going to be nice to be able to lean on him for advice if I need it.”
On New Qualifying Procedure: “I’ve never had to qualify with a bunch of cars on the track at the same time before, so I’m optimistic to see how it goes. I guess you’ll just have to time your lap accordingly and hope another car doesn’t get in your way and risk messing up your lap. Hopefully, we can get back to qualifying inside the top-five and setting the tone for what we hope will be a good race.”
Rette Jones Racing, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Pre-Race Quotes:
Mark Rette, mentor and co-owner of the No. 30 Joes Racing Products Ford Fusion:
On Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway: “There’s no hiding behind that the result that we had at Greenville wasn’t what we were looking for. I’m proud of Dominique for never giving up behind the wheel. We learned a lot as a team and I think when we go back there in September, we’ll be in much better shape. With every negative, you have to look for a positive.”
On Bristol (Tenn.) Speedway: “Even though Dominique has never been to Bristol before, I expect her to do very well. Thankfully, Jesse (Little), her teammate has been to Bristol before and has some success. I think he’ll be a key teacher for her, but I believe this is a track that will suit her driving style. We’ll have two cars in the race on Saturday and I look forward to seeing both Jesse and Dominique contending for strong runs in the PittLite 125.”
Dominique Van Wieringen, Bristol Motor Speedway NKNPSE Performance Record:
Dominique Van Wieringen will make her fourth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, no prior starts.
The PittLite 125 (125 laps / 66.625 miles) is the fourth of 14 races on the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice is set for Friday, April 15 from 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 7:00 p.m. – 7:25 p.m.Group qualifying is set a few minutes later at 7:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag the next day shortly after the conclusion of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The anticipated green flag is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with a Friday, April 22 at 1:00 a.m. air date.
Driver: Dominique Van Wieringen on Twitter @DominiqueRacing.
Team: Rette Jones Racing on Twitter @RetteJones30.
Sanction: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: NASCARHometracks.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dominique Van Wieringen, driver of the No. 30 Joes Racing Products / Durobyte Ford Fusion for Rette Jones Racing (RJR) in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE).